President Jacob Zuma

Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe cautioned on Tuesday that repeated Cabinet reshuffles will cause "instability" in the country's governance.

Mantashe was reacting to the six changes President Jacob Zuma made to his Cabinet on Tuesday, including the unceremonious axing of Blade Nzimande from the Higher Education Ministry.

Mantashe said the ANC becomes "worried" when there is what he called "a quick turnover" of ministers, following a similar reshuffle that happened in April.

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Hlengiwe Mkhize, who was moved from Home Affairs to Communications, and Ayanda Dlolo, who will now go to Home Affairs from Communications, were new entrants to the Cabinet in April; and have now been shifted again.

Mantashe asserted that this was "a formula for instability".

He said the ANC was informed by Zuma on the current reshuffle, where the instability issue was raised with the president.

Also read: #CabinetReshuffle all about consolidating Zuma’s power, says Vavi

"The ANC can have a strong view on the matter (instability). But if the president invokes his prerogative, then there's little room to move," Mantashe said.

He conceded that Nzimande's removal, the general secretary of alliance partner the SACP, would "obviously impact" relations within the alliance; Mantashe said relations within the alliance were " at their lowest".

The secretary-General threw his weight behind Nzimande, saying "it was a pity" that he had been sacked.

Later speaking to eNCA, Mantashe described Nzimande as "brilliant, full of energy and working hard".

"He is now removed. The ANC will continue using him and we hoping that he will not resign from Parliament because we still need his energy, we still need his knowledge," said Mantashe.

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